Inside: A recap of what life is like after one year decluttering and organizing the home with the KonMari method. The truth about the challenges with keeping things clean and the mindset shift it started.
I never imagined that an impulse buy at the book store a year ago would lead to one of the most successful series our blog has ever had and a total obsession with ‘tidying up’. It has been just about twelve months since Dan and I began our KonMari Journey to Sparking Joy and let me tell you – it has changed us completely.
In case you’re new here, KonMari is the method of decluttering touted in the best selling book by Japanese author Marie Kondo called “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” It explains how to adjust your thought patterns as they relate to ‘things’ and ‘possessions’ and even habits so that you discard that which is holding you back and invite more ‘joyful’ things into your life.
If you want to have a look at some of the other organizing and decluttering posts I’ve done, check out
- how we decluttered the kitchen,
- how we organized our tools and garage and
- how I approach organizing my accessories.
Lessons after One Year of the KonMari Method
It really does take at least a year to sink in
Author Marie Kondo warns of this in the first chapters of the book. She says ‘this isn’t a quick fix’ and she insinuates that KonMari does not come naturally to most people. She is right. I mean, after seven weeks, I thought I had it down and could preach it to the choir – but it’s only been after the last year or so of quietly introducing the act of KonMari into my home and my life that I’ve really started to feel like I’m seeing true benefits. We haven’t been perfect over that year. I’m fairly certain I’ve purchased things that don’t bring me joy and I’ve probably allowed things to stay in my house way too long – but in the grand scheme, we are much better off than when we started a year ago.
It will change your vocabulary
I find I no longer say things like “I’m going to go clean out my craft stash” or “I need to organize my closet”. I say “I’m going to KonMari this” or “I’m going to KonMari that”. Somehow, using the word KonMari as a verb has helped to remind us of the primary purpose for decluttering – not just to ‘make room for more stuff’ but to actually make room for life and joy.
It does change your life
Kondo professes that some of her clients got married, divorced, got new jobs, came into money after employing KonMari. Once again, she emphasizes that it didn’t happen overnight, but that once these people learned to let go of the things, habits and possessions that were weighing them down, they were able to see their true path to happiness. For us, letting go of a lot of that ‘stuff’, I believe, helped us get pregnant and start a family. Now, when I KonMari things, I tell myself it’s because I want my future child to be brought into an uncluttered world where they are free to see things without me directing their vision too much.
It has also helped me to let go of a lot of the mindset that was cluttering my brain and my perceptions of myself. I used to see myself as a ‘former journalist’ and now I identify differently and, definitely, in a more positive way. I’m now a ‘start up team member’ and a ‘DIY blogger’. The clutter (and utter bull-crap) of my former industry no longer plays a role in my vocabulary. It’s a small thing – but an important one.
You will get rid of what feels like a ton of stuff and there will always be more
I was EMBARRASSED the week that we tackled our storage and tools when we did our first KonMari blitz last year. I couldn’t believe what three rooms worth of junk looked like when it was piled on our lawn. What I also can’t believe is that just in the last month, we’ve taken no fewer than four more car loads of things to the donation bin. Everything from decor and furniture to kitchenwares and clothing.
KonMari is a long process.
It will feel like washing your make up off at the end of the day the first time you do it. Good. Fresh. And like you deserve a milkshake.
But if you stick with it, after a year, it’ll feel like you’ve had a spa-day facial and Botox injections. You’ll be on a whole new level.
You’ll get excited about getting rid of things and even more excited about properly storing the things you choose to keep
That’s right. You’ll have EMPTY closets … EMPTY bookshelves and so many options for storing and sorting the items that you have kept. It’s probably one of the best feelings ever. Right now, as I write this, I have a basically empty closet in the nursery (with the exception of a few small books and knickknacks), I have an empty closet in our guest room, and an empty storage cupboard in my studio.
I’ve started to better understand how to store my things so that I actually USE what I have.
Other Blogger Experiences with KonMari
- Here Artful Homemaking explains the benefits of the Konmari method when used with your kids.
- Love and Renovations does a wrap up of her one year of KonMari and then also has some tips for how to tackle sentimental items.
- Lastly, House of Hawthornes has a post all about how to use the Konmari Method if you’re a thrift store shopper.